We got a chance to catch up with Michael McCormick, Project Leader of StarWars Super Bombad Racing. The new 'Mario Kart style' StarWars racer developed by LucasLearning. We quizzed him on all things Bombad, and here's what he had to say:
Hi there! Thanks for taking part in this interview with us! first of all can you tell us a little bit about yourself for the readers. What exactly your job is, background and education!
I am the Project Lead for Star Wars Super Bombad Racing. I’m responsible for the project overall, from the initial concept through design all the way until the game leaves the building for duplication. I’ve worked at Lucas Learning for several years developing products from the Star Wars universe and have been involved in software development for some time - since the early 80’s. I was formally trained as a teacher and educator.
How big is the design team for this project?
At its peak, the production team had close to 20 people: programmers, artists, art technicians, a composer, and a sound designer.
How long have you been working on it now?
Almost 18 months.
Isn't this game just another Mario Kart/Diddy Kong Racing/Crash Team Racing clone? What makes it different (besides Starwars)?
It’s difficult, because Star Wars Super Bombad Racing is classified as a kart racing game, but has a lot of significant differences from games traditionally classified as kart racers. Mario Kart and so many of the Mario Kart clones put racers in little wheeled karts on the ground. Star Wars Super Bombad Racing puts all the racers in ships that hover above the ground. The jump button really lets the racers jump, instead of just a little hop. You’re not stuck on the track. There is more freedom of movement with pitching forward and backwards. Another significant difference is that each racer has a unique ability (e.g., Darth Maul can toss his double-bladed light saber). We like to think that Star Wars Super Bombad Racing raises the bar in the kart racing category.
Who is your favourite big headed Starwars character? Is this the same as your favourite actual Starwars character?
I think Darth Maul wins out for me, both in the film and his super-deformed version in Star Wars Super Bombad Racing.
Has George Lucas commented on his favourite big headed character? Are there going to be secret characters and areas to open up, such as classic Star Wars favourites (like Chewy etc,)?
George hasn’t expressed a preference in terms of characters, and, given the number of characters in the Star Wars universe, I’m not sure he’d ever name a favorite. There are some secret classic characters lurking about in this new game (but not Chewbacca, sorry), as well as secret and unlockable tracks.
How many players can play Bombad Racing simultaneously?
Will there be an internet gaming feature? 1 to 4 players can compete in races or challenge each other in arena mode, or play in collaborative, two-person teams. Players can also save their best times to challenge other players, but there is not an internet component in this version of the game.